Joe Posnanski on Alex Rodriguez

Nice take by Joe Posnanski on Alex Rodriguez:

And then, impossibly, Rodriguez got better. At 22, he had a 40-homer, 40-stolen base season and was probably the best player in the league again (the MVP went back to Gonzalez but this time it didn’t directly affect A-Rod — he finished a distant ninth in the voting). Two years later, Rodriguez added 100 walks to his superior shortstop defense, high average, big power — he was again probably the best player in the league. He finished a distant third in the MVP voting to Jason Giambi and Frank Thomas, a couple of sluggers who didn’t even pretend to play defense.

The lack of respect — the lack of love — obviously rankled him. At free-agency time, Rodriguez and agent Scott Boras made it clear that they had every intention of shaking up the world, every desire to let America know that this Alex Rodriguez guy was not a great player, he was THE great player, the consummate player, the ideal player, better than anyone.

And they signed a deal with Texas that dropped jaws all over the country. Through the years, baseball players have set records with big deals, but this one was on a whole other level. Even now, 15 years later, A-Rod’s 10-year, $252 million deal in 2001 ranks as the third-largest in baseball history. And one of the two deals ahead of it was the one A-Rod himself signed later as an extension with the Yankees.

A-Rod was the second-best hitter I’ve watched in my lifetime. The best, of course, was Barry Bonds, whose name is also inextricably linked to PEDs.

Monday, 8 August 2016